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DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan

DigiTrad:
BLANTYRE EXPLOSION
JIMMY WHELAN
LOST JIMMY WHELAN
LOST JIMMY WHELAN 2


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Blantyre Explosion (28)


Joe Offer 12 Aug 07 - 09:00 PM
Joe Offer 12 Aug 07 - 09:04 PM
Joe Offer 12 Aug 07 - 09:05 PM
masato sakurai 12 Aug 07 - 09:36 PM
Joe Offer 12 Aug 07 - 09:39 PM
GEST 13 Aug 07 - 09:28 AM
Dave'sWife 13 Aug 07 - 09:49 AM
masato sakurai 13 Aug 07 - 07:37 PM
Susan of DT 13 Aug 07 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 14 Aug 07 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 14 Aug 07 - 10:59 AM
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Willie-O 15 Aug 07 - 01:19 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:00 PM

I stumbled across this song in the Digital Tradition today, and found lots of OCR errors in our transcription. I looked for a thread discussing the song, and found none. It's a song I've known about for a long time (mostly from the Art Thieme recording), but never really known well. Perhaps it's time to take a look at it.
This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

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Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Lost Jimmie Whalen [Laws C8]

DESCRIPTION: A passerby hears a girl wailing for her lost Jimmie Whalen. He comes from the grave, and she begs him to stay. He cannot; death keeps them apart.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1926 (Rickaby)
KEYWORDS: death ghost lover
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (16 citations):
Laws C8, "Lost Jimmie Whalen"
Rickaby 4, "The Lost Jimmie Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach, pp. 726-727, "Lost Jimmie Whalen" (1 text)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 177-179, "Lost Jimmie Whalen" (1 text)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 445-446, "The Lost Jimmie Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck 48, "Jimmie Whalen's Girl" (1 text)
Fowke-Lumbering #32, "Lost Jimmy Whelan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/MacMillan 26, "Lost Jimmy Whelan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 186-187, "Lost Jimmie Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-Maritime, pp. 114-115, "Lost Jimmy Whalan" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Peacock, pp. 385-389, "Jimmy Whelan" (2 texts, 4 tunes)
Lehr/Best 61, "Jimmy Whelan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-DullCare, pp. 35-37,249, "The Lost Jimmy Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manny/Wilson 81, "The Lost Jimmie Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 27-28, "Lost Jimmy Walen" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 602, JIMWHEL* JIMWHEL2*

Roud #2220
RECORDINGS:
Mrs John Coughlin, "The Lost Jimmy Whalen" (on MREIves01)
Mrs Mary Dumphy, "The Lost Jimmie Whalen" (on NFMLeach)
Mrs. Mary Ann Galpin, "Jimmy Whelan" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Ken Peacock, "Jimmy Whalen" (on NFKPeacock)
Art Thieme, "Lost Jimmy Whalen" (on Thieme05)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "James Whalen" [Laws C7] (subject)
File: LC08

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2014 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:04 PM

Here is the first Digital Tradition text for the song. The initials "DC" indicate that it came from Dick Dennis Cook, and was probably one of the first songs in the Digital Tradition Folk Song Database. Any idea where this version came from? Any corrections?

LOST JIMMY WHELAN

( ) Am Em Am E / C Dm Am / Am Em Am E / C Dm Am

All alone as I strayed by the banks of the river,
Watching the moonbeams as evening drew nigh,
All alone as I rambled, I spied a fair damsel
Weeping and wailing with many a sigh.

Weeping for one who is now lying lowly,
Mourning for one who no mortal can save.
As the foaming dark water flow gently about him,
Onward they speed over young Jimmy's grave.

She cries, "Oh, my darling, please come to me quickly,
And give me fond kisses that oft-times you gave.
You promised to meet me this evening, my darling,
So now, lovely Jimmy, arise from your grave."

Slowly he rose from the dark, stormy waters,
A vision of beauty more fair than the sun,
Saying "I have returned from the regions of glory
To be in your dear loving arms once again."

"Oh, Jimmy, why can't you tarry here with me,
Not leave me alone, so distracted in pain."
"Since death is the dagger that's cut us asunder,
Wide is the gulf, love, between you and I."

"One fond embrace, love, and then I must leave you;
One loving farewell, and then we must part."
Cold were the arms that encircled about her;
Cold was the body she pressed to her heart.

Slowly he rose from the banks of the river,
Up to the heavens he then seemed to go
Leaving this fair maiden, weeping and mourning,
Alone on the banks of the river below.

G. Malcolm Laws, Jr., assigns the number C8 to this ghostly tale,
in his NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADRY (1964), stating, "It is possible
that this beautiful Irish ballad originated in America." It was
sung in the Maine woods as early as 1886. Phillips Barry tells
us that "no trace of it exists in old country tradition." Thus
it would seem that this "Irish" ballad is purely American.

Sung by Joan Sprung on FSI-75
DT #602
Laws C8
@ghost @love
filename[ JIMWHEL
TUNE FILE: JIMWHEL
CLICK TO PLAY
DC


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Subject: DT Correction: Lost Jimmy Whalen 2
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:05 PM

This is the second Digital Tradition version, the one with all the OCR errors. The initials "RG" indicate it probably came from Dick Greenhaus, and the notes say he got it from the From Penguin Book of Canada Folk Songs, Fowke. The background notes for this version are intriguing.

DT Version

LOST JIMMY WHELAN 2

Lonely I strayed by the banks of a river
Watching the sunbeams as evening drew nigh.
As onward l rambled l spied a fair damsel,
She was weeping and wailing with many a sigh.

Crying for one who is now lying lonely
Sighing for one who no mortal couId see,
For the dark rolling waters now gently around him
As onwards she speeds over young Jimmy's grave.

She cries, "O my darling won't you come to my arrums
And give me fond kisses which ofttimes you gave ?
You promised to meet me this evening, my darling,
So now, lovelie Jimmy, arise from your grave."

Slowly he rose from the dark stormy waters,
A vision of beauty far fairer than sun.
Pink and red were the garments all round him,
And unto this fair maid to speak he began,

Saying, "Why do you rise me from the re-alms of glory
Back to this place where I once had to leave?"
"lt was to embrace in your strong loving arrums,
So now lovelie Jimmy, take me to your grave."

"Darling," he says, "you are asking a favour
That no earthly mortal couId grant unto thee,
For death is the debtor that tore us asunder,
And wide is the gulf, love, between you and me."

"Hard, hard were the struggles on the cruel Mississippi
But encircled around her on every side,
Thinking of you as we conquered them bravely,
I was hoping some day for to make you my bride."

"But in vain was the hopes that arose in my bosom,
And nothing, oh nothing, on earth could be saved.
My last dying thoughts were of God and you, darling,
Till death took me down to the deep silent grave."

"One fond embrace, love, and then I must leave you.
One loving farewell, and then we must part."
Cold were the arms that encircled around her,
And cold was the torm that she pressed to her heart.

Slowly he rose from the banks of the river,
Up to the sky he then seemed to go,
Leaving this fair maid on the banks of the river,
Sighing and weeping in anger and woe.

Throwing herself on the banks of the river,
Crying as though her poor heart it would break,
She cried, "O my darling, my lost Jimmy Welan,
I'll lie down and die by the side of your grave."

From Penguin Book of Canada Folk Songs, Fowke.
note: according to Fowkes, this was widely sung in Ontario, and
spread to the Maritimes, Michigan, Maine and Wisconsin. "This
ballad is almost certainly adapted from an older British one: The
Blantyre Explosion in A. L. Lloyd's Come All Ye Bold Miners is a
relative, but the ancestor has not been identified."
DT #602
Laws C8
@ghost @love
filename[ JIMWHEL2
TUNE FILE: JIMWHEL2
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

Corrected lyrics:

LOST JIMMY WHELAN 2

Lonely I strayed by the banks of a river
Watching the sunbeams as evening drew nigh.
As onward I rambled I spied a fair damsel,
She was weeping and wailing with many a sigh.

Crying for one who is now lying lonely
Sighing for one who no mortal could see,
For the dark rolling waters now gently around him
As onwards she speeds over young Jimmy's grave.

She cries, "O my darling won't you come to my arrums
And give me fond kisses which ofttimes you gave?
You promised to meet me this evening, my darling,
So now, lovelie Jimmy, arise from your grave."

Slowly he rose from the dark stormy waters,
A vision of beauty far fairer than sun.
Pink and red were the garments all round him,
And unto this fair maid to speak he began,

Saying, "Why do you rise me from the re-alms of glory
Back to this place where I once had to leave?"
"It was to embrace in your strong loving arrums,
So now lovelie Jimmy, take me to your grave."

"Darling," he says, "you are asking a favour
That no earthly mortal could grant unto thee,
For death is the debtor that tore us asunder,
And wide is the gulf, love, between you and me."

"Hard, hard were the struggles on the cruel Mississippi
But encircled around her on every side,
Thinking of you as we conquered them bravely,
I was hoping some day for to make you my bride."

"But in vain was the hopes that arose in my bosom,
And nothing, oh nothing, on earth could be saved.
My last dying thoughts were of God and you, darling,
Till death took me down to the deep silent grave."

"One fond embrace, love, and then I must leave you.
One loving farewell, and then we must part."
Cold were the arms that encircled around her,
And cold was the form that she pressed to her heart.

Slowly he rose from the banks of the river,
Up to the sky he then seemed to go,
Leaving this fair maid on the banks of the river,
Sighing and weeping in anger and woe.

Throwing herself on the banks of the river,
Crying as though her poor heart it would break,
She cried, "O my darling, my lost Jimmy Welan,
I'll lie down and die by the side of your grave."

From Penguin Book of Canada Folk Songs, Fowke.
note: according to Fowke, this was widely sung in Ontario, and spread to the Maritimes, Michigan, Maine and Wisconsin. "This ballad is almost certainly adapted from an older British one: The Blantyre Explosion in A. L. Lloyd's Come All Ye Bold Miners is a relative, but the ancestor has not been identified."
DT #602
Laws C8
@ghost @love
filename[ JIMWHEL2
TUNE FILE: JIMWHEL2
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:36 PM

From G. Malcolm Laws, Native American Balladry (1950, pp. 147-148):
C8
LOST JIMMIE WHALEN

The grieving girl calls for her drowned sweetheart to rise from his grave. He comes from the waters "a vision of splendor" to see her once more. When she begs him to stay, he replies that Death keeps them apart, but he will try to guard her from danger. He vanishes and she is left alone.

As lonely I strayed by the banks of the river,
I was watching the sunbeams as evening drew nigh;
As onward I rambled, I spied a fair damsel;
She was weeping and wailing with many a sigh.
...........................................
As she sank down on the ground she was standing,
With the deepest of sorrow these words she did say,
"My darling," she cried, "O my lost Jimmie Whalen,
I will sigh till I die by the side of your grave!"

Barry, 12--13, II d. sts. m. (Me.) Stanzas I and II are given above. Reprinted from Bulletin no. II, 4--5.
Bulletin no. II (1936), 5--6, 13 sts. (Me.)
Beck, 117--118, 6 sts. and chorus (Mich. "Jimmie Whalen's Girl").
RIckaby, 24, a fragment of 3 sts. (Mich.)
L. C. Records 3287 A I (Wis.) and 2412 AI & B2 (Mich.) "The Lost Jimmie Whalen".

It is possible that this beautiful Irish ballad originated in America. Barry reports that it was sung in the Maine woods in 1886 and 1894, and says, "No trace of this ballad exists in old country tradition". He describes its background as "Irish folk-tradition, grounded in that rich bed of synthetic mythology which should not longer pass for authentic Celtic", (See Bulletin no. II (1936), 4--7. This and the preceding ballad [C7: "James Whalen"] presumably refer to the same tragedy.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:39 PM

Here is a completely different song, "Jimmy Whelan," which I'm posting for comparison. If we'd like to explore different versions of "Jimmy Whelan," let's do it in another thread and restrict this thread to "Lost Jimmy Whelan." The Digital Tradition notes say there is "No apparent connection to Lost Jimmy Whelan," but the notes in Fowke make me think "Jimmy Whelan" refers to the same person. Maybe Fowke is wrong to imply that. The DT lyrics come from Fowke, but do not include Fowke's notes. I didn't find any mistakes in the DT lyrics - they appear to be an exact transcription from Fowke, with the possible (correct) replacement of a comma by a period.

JIMMY WHELAN

Come all you ladies and gentlemen,
I pray you lend an ear;
'Tis of a terrible accident
You are about to hear.

'Tis of a young and active youth,
Jimmy Whelan he was called;
He was drownded on McClellan's drive
All on the Upper Falls.

The fierce and the raging main,
The waters they ran high,
And the foreman said to Whelan:
"This jam you will have to try."

"You've always been an active youth
While danger's lurking near,
So you are the man I want to help
To keep these waters clear."

Whelan he made answer
Unto his comrades bold:
"Supposing if there's danger
We will do as we are told."

"We'll obey our foreman's orders
As noble men should do."
Just as he spoke the jam it broke
And let poor Whelan through.

The raging main it tossed and tore
Those logs from shore to shore.
And here and there his body went,
A-tumbling o'er and o'er.

No earthly man could ever live
In such a raging main.
Poor Whelan struggled hard for life
But he struggled all in vain.

There were three of them in danger,
But two of them were saved.
It was noble-hearted Whelan
That met with a watery grave.

So come all you young and active youths,
A warning from me take,
And try and shun all danger
Before it gets too late.

For death is drawing nearer
And trying to destroy
The pride of some poor mother's heart,
And his father's only joy.

From Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, Fowke
Note: No apparent connection to Lost Jimmy Whelan
DT #601
Laws C7
@work @logger @death @Canada

filename[ JMMYWHEL
TUNE FILE: JMMYWHEL
CLICK TO PLAY
RG



Fowke's notes:
    Accidents in which shantyboys were drowned on river drives were all too common: one informant said there were twenty-seven crosses beside one rapid near Pembroke. Such tragedies inspired a number of ballads, of which "The Jam on Gerry's Rocks" is the best known. The facts behind it are elusive, but Jimmy Whelan - actually James Phalen - was killed on Ontario's Mississippi River, a tributary of the Ottawa. Rickaby gives 1878 as the date; James Phalen's grandniece, Mary C. Phelan of Ottawa, thinks it was 1876, and she names Timothy Doyle as the ballad's composer. Laws lists versions from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maine, and New Brunswick. Shoemaker found it in Pennsylvania, and vincent gives a west coast version.
So, is it the same Jimmy Whelan as the lost one?
-Joe-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

James Whalen [Laws C7]

DESCRIPTION: Jim Whalen is told by his foreman to help clear a logjam. When the jam breaks, he is thrown into the rapids and drowned.
AUTHOR: John Smith (?)
EARLIEST DATE: 1926 (Rickaby)
KEYWORDS: logger death drowning lumbering
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE) Canada(Mar,Ont)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Laws C7, "James Whalen"
Doerflinger, pp. 243-244, "Whalen's Fate (George Whalen)"
Rickaby 3, "Jim Whalen" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering 110, "James Wayland" (1 text)
Fowke/Johnston, pp. 82-83, "Jim Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-Lumbering #31, "Jimmy Whelan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/MacMillan 25, "Jimmy Whelan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-NewBrunswick, pp. 39-41, "James Whalen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-Ontario 49, "Jimmy Whelan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, p. 389, "James Whaland" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck 53, "James Whalen" (1 text)
DT 601, JMMYWHEL*
ADDITIONAL: Walter Havinghurst, _Upper Mississippi: A Wilderness Saga_, Farrar & Rinehart, 1937, 1944, p. 228, "(Swan Swanson)" (1 fragment, clearly this, with the source unidentified but with a character name seemingly not found elsewhere)

Roud #638
RECORDINGS:
Emerson Woodcock, "Jimmie Whelan" (on Lumber01)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Lost Jimmie Whalen" [Laws C8] (subject)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
James Phalen
NOTES: Rickaby reports this to be based on an actual incident, in which James Phalen (so spelled; pronounced Whalen) died at "King's Chute" on the Mississippi River. (That's the Canadian Mississippi, a tributary of the Ottawa). Rickaby's informant, Cristopher Forbes, is the source of the claim that John Smith of Lanark wrote the song.
The date of the event is uncertain; Rickaby states it was in 1878, but Fowke quotes Phalen's grand-niece to the effect that the date was 1876.
There is one other sidelight to this, the significance of which I do not know. The song "Mickey Free," about logging in northwestern Wisconsin, claims that the singer "held me own with Whalen." This song is believed to have been written 1878. Is it the same Whalen? There were, of course, loggers from Canada in the Wisconsin woods in that period, and "James Whalen" eventually was known in the adea, but would they have been treating such a recent event as legendary? I don't know. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: LC07

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2014 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GEST
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 09:28 AM

Joe ~

Here are a couple more variants with some notes to use as "food for thought". :-)

http://wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/12/whalen.htm

http://wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/17/whelan.htm

GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 09:49 AM

Joe - I knew this song as Lost Jimmy Fallon.

I heard it from my great uncle Joe who worked in logging camps around the NY and Canada border area. He was my Grandfather's older brother. Fallon - Phelan is a pretty common change-up in pronunciation. I'm guessing Joe's birthdate was around 1904 or 1905. His family is irish but cvame through Canada to NY state to settle. his father was a riverboat captain on the St. Lawrence River. I only hear it a few times in the1970s and it was always uncle joe who sang it and nit my granfather who was a fair amount younger than him.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: masato sakurai
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 07:37 PM

Audio recording at Wisconsin Folksong Collection, 1937-1946:
Title:   Lost Jimmie Whalen
Performer:   Walker, Robert, b. 1883?
Date:   1937-07
LCSH Subjects:   Songs / Ballads
Subjects:   Lumberjack
Place/Time:   Forest County (Wisconsin) / Crandon, Wisconsin
Another one at MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada:
Jimmy Whalen
Performed by Mary Dunphy
Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 2 Track 7
Community: Tors Cove
Audio: Yes
Genre: Ballad / lover's ghost returns


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Susan of DT
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 08:09 PM

Joe

That is DENNIS Cook.

Maybe I am blind, but I don't see any difference between your corrected version and the DT version of JIMWHEL2 or with the one in my version of the DT. What OCR errors?
    Oh, I knew that - Dennis Cook, Dick Greenhaus. I did, I really did....I just forgot.
    The OCR errors are mostly confusing "l" and "1" and "I," and "O" and "0" - makes searching difficult.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 10:47 AM

Unusually the song has been recorded twice in Ireland from (very) elderly source singers.
It was recorded on both occasions by collector Tom Munnelly and is archived at the Folklore Department in Dublin
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 10:59 AM

I recorded this fine ballad back when I was singing regularly on steamboats out on the Mississippi River. The passengers on our boats hadn't discovered CDs yet (1980s and 1990s) so I included it on a cassette I titled "ART THIEME---ON THE RIVER"

One o' these days it might be a Folk Legacy CD---fleshed out with some other river related folklore and songs. Anne Hills & Cindy Mangsen recorded my version of "Lost Jimmy Whalen"

Art


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:55 PM

I'd better correct myself, Art. I learned the song from the Hills-Mangsen recording, and THEN I heard it on the cassette you sent me. The Hills-Mangsen recording is on a terrific CD titled Never Grow Old. That's Mudcatter John Roberts singing with Hills and Mangsen on the title song.
-Joe-
    27 Oct 2013: I lied, or at least I misspoke. I learned this song from the 1965 Peter Paul and Mary album, A Song Will Rise.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Willie-O
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 01:19 PM

I've always thought the two songs were about the same guy, who lived and died in my area. The Mississippi is about a mile from where I sit, and King's Chute--definitely the site of "Whelan's Fate", the other title for "James Whelan" is fifteen or twenty miles upriver. King's Lake is a small lake just downstream from the much larger Crotch Lake, and King's Chute is below King's Lake.   It is not much visited these days, unlike the better-known-locally Ragged Chutes, a mile or so downstream.      

Anyone wants a site tour, I'll take you, bring your bug repellent. There are still Phalens, McLellans, and possibly Whelans living around here.

Another recent recording of "Lost Jimmy Whelan" is by Aengus Finnan.

W-O


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 04:17 PM

...and Joe, john Roberts' new CD---SEA FEVER---is simply the absolute best folk record I've heard in at least the last ten years.

And I really mean that!!

Art


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,Elizabeth
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 09:50 AM

I think Tom Munnelly wrote something about this song in Bealoideas 92/93.

Karan Casey sings a beautiful version on her latest album "Chasing the sun".


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 03:29 AM

"I think Tom Munnelly wrote something about this song in Bealoideas 92/93."
Tom recorded it twice, both times in County Cavan, and referred to it in this copy of Béaloideas in an article entitled 'They're There All The Same, supernatural elements in narrative songs in the English language in Ireland'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,HeatherK
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 01:43 AM

Hi Willie-O,
I know this thread is six years old now, but if you're reading this, I'd love to talk to you about Jimmy Whelan/James Phalen. I'm a documentary student at Carleton. My email is heather@heatherkitching.com
Thanks!
h


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 03:10 AM

Heather, Willie-O hasn't posted since April, and the e-mail address on his Mudcat registration dosn't work any more. I sent him a personal message on Mudcat, but he may not see it for several months.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Archivist-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 11:57 AM

Thanks so much, Joe. Incidentally, do you know anything more about the Mary C. Phalen of Ottawa that Edith Fowke consulted with? I'm having trouble locating any birth or census records that would connect a Mary Phalen with James Phalen.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Willie-O
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 09:17 PM

As it happens, here I am! Getting in touch with Heather by email.

w-o
Bill


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 03:50 PM

Lyr. Add: JIM WHALEN
A. C. Hannah, Bemidji, Minnesota

1
Come all you jolly raftsmen, I pray you lend an ear.
'T' is of a mournful accident I soon will let you hear,
Concerning of a noble youth, Jim Whalen he was call'd,
Was drowned off Pete McLaren's raft below the upper fall.
2
The rapids they were raging, the waters were so high.
Says the foreman unto Whalen, "This jam we'll have to try.
You're young, you're brave and active when danger's lurking near.
You're just the man to help me now these waters to get clear."
3
Young Whalen then made answer unto his comrades bold,
Saying, "Come on, boys, though it's dangerous, we'll do as we are told.
We'll obey our orders manfully, as young men they should do-"
But while he spoke the jam, it broke, and Whalen, he went through.
4
Three of them were in danger, but two of them were saved,
But noble-hearted Whalen met with a watery grave.
No mortal man could live in such a raging watery main,
And although he struggled hard for life, , his struggles were in vain.
5
The foaming waters roared and tossed the logs from shore to shore.
Now here, now there his body seen tumbling o'er and o'er.
One awful cry for mercy- "O God, look down on me!"
And his soul was freed from earthly cares, gone to eternity.
6
Come all you jolly raftsmen, think on poor Jimmy's fate.
Be careful and take warning before it is too late,
For death is lurking near you ever eager to destroy
The pride of a fond father's heart, likewise a mother's joy.

Pp. 20-22, 3A, with musical score.
Franz Rickaby, 1926, Ballads and Songs of the Shanty-Boy, Harvard University Press.

Another version has the name as James Phalen.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 10:33 PM

http://umaine.edu/folklife/programs-and-events/maine-song-and-story-sampler-map/places/kings-chute-ontario-lost-jimmy-whalen/

In my experience, one of the best places for information about this song is in the Bulletin of the Folksong Society of the Northeast.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 01:31 PM

Lyr. Add: JAMES PHALEN
Chris M. Forbes, Perth, Ontario

1
Gentlemen and maidens, I pray you to draw near,
An accident most terrible I mean to let you hear,
All of a young and comely youth, James Phelan he was called,
He was drowned off McLaren's raft upon the upper falls.
2
The waters they were raging fierce, the rivers they ran high,
The foreman says to Phelan, "That jam we'll have to try.
You're bold, brave, and active when danger's lurking near,
You are the man to help me now these waters to get clear."

Only the first two verses, since the song is essentially the same as "Jim Whalen."

Phelan was real, he died on a tributary of the Ottawa River c. 1878.
Notes in The Maine Folklife Center article on "Lost Jimmy Whalen suggest that two different songs were mixed together around his name.
Jim Whalen, 3B, pp. 22-23, in Rickaby, 1926 (see 3A, posted above).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 02:39 PM

From Edith Fowke's Lumbering Songs from the Northern Woods.
Univ of Texas Press 1970
Jim Carroll

Unlike Johnny Doyle's, the time and place of Jimmy Whelan's death are known. As Rickaby notes, the hero's real name was James Phalen, and he was killed in 1878 on Ontario's Mississippi River, a tributary of the Ottawa. The tragedy occurred when two rafts of logs coming out of Cross Lake collided in the swift waters of King's Chute. As the raftsmen worked to untangle the jam, Phalen slipped off a shifting log and was pulled under by the current. The McClellan mentioned was Peter McLaren, an Ottawa lumberman who made a fortune and became a Canadian senator before he died in 1919-
James Phalen's grandniece, Miss Mary C. Phalen of Ottawa, thinks the drowning took place in the spring of 1876 rather than 1878. She says that the composer of the song was believed to be Timothy Doyle, son of a pioneer farmer in Drummond Township.
The ballad spread to Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maine, Pennsylvania, and New Brunswick, but, although it became more wide¬ly known than either "Johnny Doyle" or "Jimmy Judge," it is not now as well remembered in Ontario. Emerson Woodcock is the only singer I found who knows it. His tune, different from the families noted by Barry, Rickaby, and Doerflinger, is very close to "Auld Lang Syne."
The number of rivermen who died in accidents like the one de¬tailed here will never be known. Mr. Arlington Fraser of Lancaster quoted a former shantyboy, Ray Ciegle, who told him that there were twenty-seven crosses beside one rapid near Pembroke.

References
printed. Laws, NAB, 150. Fowke, 124-125 (same as above). Shoe¬maker, 86-88. Vincent, 39-40. recorded. Folkways FM4052 (Woodcock).
Tune Relatives
Fowke, 42, 48 (and Folkways FM 4051, II—8).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: mg
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 09:50 PM

i am going to record this for our river driving cd and it is a fascinating song. forget the ghostly aspect...it is totally biblical...it has the transfiguration, resurrection, ascension into heaven. Do ghosts wear robes of red and pink and crimson? ascend into heaven? i think you could read mary magdalene into it too....someone should do an essay on this...read all the lyrics you can because there are some verses pretty common and others vary.

has anyone traced where phelan was from? whalen/whelan/phelans were interchangeable according to genealogy things i have read but this could be wrong. anyway, my gggm from county offaly was bridget whalen...could be a relative...


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 10:12 PM

Hi, MG - I think we're dealing with two different Jimmys here, and two different songs and incidents - but maybe not.

I quoted Edith Fowke's notes up toward the top:
    Accidents in which shantyboys were drowned on river drives were all too common: one informant said there were twenty-seven crosses beside one rapid near Pembroke. Such tragedies inspired a number of ballads, of which "The Jam on Gerry's Rocks" is the best known. The facts behind it are elusive, but Jimmy Whelan - actually James Phalen - was killed on Ontario's Mississippi River, a tributary of the Ottawa. Rickaby gives 1878 as the date; James Phalen's grandniece, Mary C. Phelan of Ottawa, thinks it was 1876, and she names Timothy Doyle as the ballad's composer. Laws lists versions from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maine, and New Brunswick. Shoemaker found it in Pennsylvania, and vincent gives a west coast version.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: mg
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 10:51 PM

i am talking about lost jimmy whalen that has the ghost arise. the other is more biographical.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: meself
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 11:06 PM

Okay - mg is clearly talking about Lost Jimmy Whalen - the ghost story. The other song, which Edith Fowke's notes quoted in the previous post pertain to, is Jimmy Whalen - the shantyboy vs logjam song. Both songs could be about the same person - interestingly, while at least one version of Lost Jimmy Whalen mentions the Mississippi River, commentators on Jimmy Whalen (the song) say that Jimmy Whalen (the man) died on the Mississippi River (of Ontario), although the name of that river does not seem to have made it into any of the versions of the song (Jimmy Whalen).

Here is the note to Lost Jimmy Whalen, quoted in Joe's third post in this thread:

note: according to Fowkes, this was widely sung in Ontario, and
spread to the Maritimes, Michigan, Maine and Wisconsin. "This
ballad is almost certainly adapted from an older British one: The
Blantyre Explosion in A. L. Lloyd's Come All Ye Bold Miners is a
relative, but the ancestor has not been identified."


Now, a question for Jim Carroll: which song is it that Tom Munnelly recorded in Ireland: Lost Jimmy Whalen or Jimmy Whalen?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: CupOfTea
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 11:18 AM

I have been singing LOST JIMMY WHELAN for years, in what Phil Cooper calls "the Art Thieme edit" which is true enough, that's where I first heard it, and I expect that is where Anne Hills & Cindy Mangsen got it, too. Their recording of it was what inspired me to sing it, and I think it was because of them that it got published that way in SING OUT, without the rest of the maudlin Victorian verses.

This is a song that fits into so many themes: ghost/revenant, rivers, logging, love, Great Lakes area, Canadian, ballads from the American side of the ocean... Don't know another song in my repertoire as versitile.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: meself
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 12:48 PM

This IS confusing: can I take it, then, that "the Art Thieme edit" is a meld of the two otherwise distinct songs?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: CupOfTea
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 01:38 PM

No, Meself, there are more verses to the version/ melody I sing that can be found. It has been so long that I'm not sure where I found them, but they were very maudlin, and leaving them out makes for a crisper story line. The last verse is maudlin enough, but you still might be absorbing the ghost appearance & disappearance at that point. Phil knew Art very well, and likely scoped out the other verses at some point to be able to make the "edit" point.

Somewhat clearer, I hope?
Joanne


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: meself
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 02:22 PM

Well - what's confusing me is that there is one song that's all about   Jimmy Whalen dying trying to clear a logjam, with no mention of weeping maidens and ghosts, and another song about the appearance of the ghost of Jimmy Whalen, with no mention of shantyboys and logjams. But your previous post seems to indicate that you are talking about a version that puts both songs together ... ?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: mg
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 04:41 PM

i have never seen the two songs combined but i am sure someone has tried.

The one about the log jam is pretty straight-forward. The other one is very interesting. It seems to come from someone with experience in religious music and has some obvious religious themes. How many lumberjacks end up with robes of crimson or pink and red or circles of crimson..how many arise from the dead? Whoever wrote the song is getting poor Jimmy Whalen quite mixed up with Jesus.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,DastenHero
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 11:20 AM

This song is stuck in my head and is literally haunting my dreams, agh. I stumbled across the song while roleplaying online as the Canadian character Victor Creed (from the popular X-Men franchise) and it's been stuck with me ever since. There's a really good recording of it in my opinion on YouTube by Tia Blake; for some reason the flute really creeps me out, but in a good way. Not sure how old this thread is, but if this is still active by some miracle, does anyone know if this was based on a real event? If so, when did it happen? It's kind of inspired me to write a story based on it, and while I haven't read through everything on here (which I fully intend to do later) I really would love to learn about where this odd, obscure little song came from. It gives me the chills!

I'm seventeen, by the way. Not sure how relevant that is, but yeah XD


Lost Jimmie Whalen, recording by Tia Blake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CfWh_qhtcU


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 03:48 PM

I think it was based on a real event. Person's name was James Phelan..i have a Whelan ancestor and in genealogy those three versions of the name are considered interchangeable. In my case, I believe gggm, Bridget Whalen, was from County Offaly. The cruel Mississippi is mentioned in one of the many versions, but a smaller river in Canada I think. I do not remember where people say the song is from...it is possible that I am related to him.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Lost Jimmy Whalen/Whelan
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 10 Feb 18 - 08:27 AM

Robert Walker of Crandon, Wisconsin, sings a good version on the Dust-to-Digital set "Folksongs of Another America" (DTD-43). It was recorded from him by Sidney Robertson in 1937. Mr Walker's tune has served for several Scottish songs, including "The Road and the Miles to Dundee".


Audio brought to you by the Mudcat Cafe: Lost Jimmie Whalen, sung by Robert Walker (click)


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